I just got back from a wonderful visit to Florida to see my family and friends and had a ton of fun :). I got to spend time sunning myself at the beach AND I finally made it to Harry Potter World in Universal Islands of Adventure-- something I've been wanting to do forever. You see, I am a Harry Potter freak and so my friends and I went to the park on the opening day. After waiting in line for 8 hours, me passing out with heat exhaustion and having to go to the medic room, and a long argument to get our refunds, we saw NOTHING. It was one of the most disappointing experiences of my life. But, I finally got to go and it was really quite fun! However, I do not recommend the Butter Beer. It's ultra weird and has a strange foamy, creamy layer on the top that I was told is a "non-dairy butterscotch flavoring." Ew.
Tomorrow I start my last quarter of college, EVER and I can't freakin' wait to get it over with :P!
So, about this cake... It's pretty amazing. It's fresh and unique and a perfect alternative to a rich, chocolate dessert. The orange syrup that is poured on the cake straight out of the oven gives it an extremely moist texture that can be described as almost pudding-like. The orange-Cointreau macerated berries are a nice counterpoint, and the creamy crème fraîche is a rich, zingy contrast.
Orange Poppy-Seed Cake with Berries and Crème Fraîche
recipe slightly adapted from here
for the cake:
- 1 1/2 cups cake flour
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 cup poppy seeds
- 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar, divided
- 2 tsp orange zest
- 4 large eggs, separated
- 2/3 cups sour cream
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
for the berries/syrup:
- 1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
- 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp Cointreau
- 3 tbsp granulated sugar
- 1/4 cups strips of orange zest
- 3 cups mixed raspberries, blackberries, and strawberries (strawberries should be halved or quartered)
- confectioners' sugar, for dusting
- crème fraîche, to serve
for the syrup:
- In a small saucepan, combine the orange juice, Cointreau, 3 tbsp sugar, and strips of orange zest over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring frequently, for about 5-10 minutes until the sugar is dissolved. Remove pan from heat.
- Fish out the zest strips with a fork and discard. Pour 1/3 cup of the syrup into a bowl and reserve the rest for the cake.
- Add the berries to the bowl with the 1/3 cup syrup and place in the fridge, covered, to macerate for at least 2 hours and up to 24.
for the cake:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 9 or 10-inch springform pan and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder and poppy seeds. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, sour cream, and vanilla. Set aside.
- In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, 1 cup of the sugar, and orange zest for about 5 minutes until light and fluffy. Alternately add in the flour mixture and yolk mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mixture, beating well after each addition.
- In another bowl, with a hand mixer, beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt until they are foamy. Add in the cream of tartar and beat until soft peaks. Add in the remaining 1/4 cup sugar, a little at a time, and beat until stiff peaks.
- Stir 1/3 of the meringue into the cake batter and then gently fold in the remainder.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake for 40-45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- As soon as you remove the cake from the oven, poke the top all over and brush the top with 1/2 of the reserved syrup. Let stand for 10 minutes. Run a thin knife around the side of the pan and remove the cake. Invert it on a rack and poke the bottom all over. Brush the remaining syrup over it, re-invert the cake on another rack or plate, and let stand until entirely cool. (You can keep the cake like this wrapped in plastic wrap at room temperature for a day before serving.)
- Before serving, sift confectioners' sugar over the top and serve with the macerated berries and crème fraîche.